Howard's Josh Vetter raises his finger in victory in the midst of his teammates celebrating their win over Winston Churchill during the 4A/3A boys lacrosse state championship at Stevenson University's Mustang Stadium on Wednesday, May 20.
Howard's Josh Vetter raises his finger in victory in the midst of his teammates celebrating their win over Winston Churchill during the 4A/3A boys lacrosse state championship at Stevenson University's Mustang Stadium on Wednesday, May 20. (Brian Krista / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

In the final installment of the 2014-15 school year recap, here's a look at the highlights from the spring's boys lacrosse season.

Boys' Latin coach Bob Shriver calls it a career

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The final numbers Shriver finished with in his 36 years as head coach were downright impressive: 507 wins, six league crowns, three perfect seasons and nine more appearances in title games.

Shriver brought much more to the game.

He loved coaching lacrosse and everything that came with it. His loyal coaching staff and the banter they shared; the players he would help become young men; and the challenge that came every Tuesday and Friday in the mighty Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association.

A special half helps put Howard over the top

Talk about testing your mettle.  The Howard Lions went into their Class 4A-3A state semifinals against defending champion and frequent nemesis South River averaging 19 goals per game this season, winning all 17 games to that point.

In the previous two seasons, the Lions were eliminated by the Seahawks -- in the state semifnals in 2013 and the state finals last year.

This year was supposed to be different -- a talented senior group making sure to complete the mission.  And there the Lions were, trailing South River, 3-1, at halftime.  They were outshot, 20-5, and outsmarted as the Seahawks slowed them down by winning faceoffs and ground balls.

One measly goal, how could that be possible?

The Lions shook off the nerves and started to play the way they have all season -- fast and confident.

Senior attackman Cody Ford had a remarkable final two minutes of the third quarter -- scoring three times including one with one second left to put the Lions up 5-3 going into the fourth quarter.  He would score two goals in seven seconds in the fourth quarter -- finishing with five in all -- as the Lions outscored the Seahawks, 10-1, in the second half for an 11-4 win that showed more character than any game I covered throughout the entire school year.

The hard part was over for the Lions, who went on to defeat Churchill, 14-6, to complete a much-anticipated and well-deserved 19-0 season that produced the program's first state crown.

The Big Cat pounces to lead St. Mary's to coveted title

St. Mary's senior Alex Woodall was truly the 'X' factor in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference.

As expected, the MIAA season was balanced with a number of teams qualified to win it all once the playoffs rolled around in May.

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It was Woodall's superb work on faceoffs that separated the Saints from the rest of the talented field.

Known as "The Big Cat" at St. Mary's, Woodall brought strength, quickness and a polished craft to the faceoff X and the Saints had a gifted supporting cast to bring home the program's second league crown and first since 1996.

His stat sheet in the Saints' 13-8 win over McDonogh in the title game was impressive and much the norm for the season.

He won 19 of 25 draws -- including 7 of 8 in the take-charge second quarter -- and he scooped up 13 ground balls.  He was an easy choice for the game's Most Valuable Player honor.

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